The Holy Name of Mary

Yesterday was the feastday of The Holy Name of Mary.  I was reading St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Hail Holy Queen!, Chapter Ten of which is dedicated to the “sweetness of the name of Mary”. The chapter is filled with the thoughts of many saints and other holy people on this subject, and I share some of them here:

St. Peter Damian:  “The name of Mary came from the treasury of the divinity.”

St. Bernard:  “O most holy Virgin Mary!  Thy name is so sweet and amiable that it cannot be pronounced without inflaming those who do so with love towards thee and God.”

Richard of St. Laurence:  “Thy name, O Mary, is far better than riches, because it can better relieve poverty.”

St. Methodius:  “Thy name, O Mother of God, is filled with divine graces and blessings.”

St. Bonaventure:  “Thy name, O Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly.”

St. Ambrose:  “Thy most sweet name, O Mary, is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the odor of divine grace.”

St. Germanus:  “…as breathing is a sign of life, so also is the frequent pronunciation of the name of Mary a sign either of the life of divine grace, or that it will soon come; for this powerful name has in it the virtue of obtaining help and life for him who invokes it devoutly.”

♥  M A R Y 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Truly unfortunate are we poor children of Eve; for, guilty before God of her fault, and condemned to the same penalty, we have to wander about in this valley of tears as exiles from our country, and to weep over our many afflictions of body and soul.  But blessed is he who, in the midst of these sorrows, often turns to the comfortress of the world, to the refuge of the unfortunate, to the great Mother of God, and devoutly calls upon her and invokes her!

mary-2The above passage is taken from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s, “Hail Holy Queen”, from Chapter IV, entitled, “Mary, Our Help”. St. Alphonsus Liguori speaks of Mary’s compassion as our Mother of Mercy, and how we need never lack confidence in asking for anything we need: “Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our confidence that Mary will grant our petitions when we cast ourselves at her feet. She is the Mother of mercy…”  He explains why our prayers to Mary are often heard and answered more quickly than our prayers to Jesus. St. Alphonsus quotes St. Anselm on this point: “…when we have recourse to this divine Mother, not only we may be sure of her protection, but that often we shall be heard more quickly, and be thus preserved, if we have recourse to Mary and call on her holy name, than we should be if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour…”  What is the reasoning behind this statement of St. Anselm, upheld by St. Alphonsus Liguori? St. Anselm’s explanation continues: “…that to Jesus, as a judge, it belongs also to punish; but mercy alone belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a patroness” and “We often obtain more promptly what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is lord and judge of all, and discerns the merits of each one; and therefore if He does not immediately grant the prayers of all, He is just. When, however, the Mother’s name is invoked, though the merits of the suppliant are not such as to deserve that his prayer should be granted, those of the Mother supply that he may receive.”

In this chapter we are also reminded of the experiences/revelations of several saints on this matter. “Many things,” says Nicephorus, “are asked from God, and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are obtained…because God has thus decreed to honor His Mother.” Also, from St. Bridget’s revelations, we have the words that Jesus said to His Mother: “Thou shalt present Me with no petition that shall be refused. My Mother, ask what thou wilt, for never will I refuse thee anything…” Lastly, “The same thing was revealed to St. Gertrude, when she heard our divine Redeemer assure His Mother that in His omnipotence He granted her power to show mercy to sinners who invoke her in whatever manner she might please.”

Father Bob Williston (Redemptorist) singing, “Mother of Perpetual Help”